Did you ever wonder: What is my brain? How does it work? Neuron Galaxy, a picture book with non-fiction content by the Morphonix team (Jay Leibold, writer; Karen Littman, creative director; and Max Weinberg, primary illustrator) is a new resource to help children begin to understand their amazing brains.
The target audience for this book is children ages 5 to 12 years old. The book explains how the brain is made of neurons which connect as you grow, enabling you to learn new things and do everything you do. It emphasizes that the brain has billions of neurons, as many as the stars in our galaxy.
Making a topic as complex as the human brain understandable and interesting for young children is definitely a challenge! One way Neuron Galaxy succeeds in being kid-friendly is through adorable and colorful illustrations. They will keep kids hooked on the story and help them understand the concepts being presented.
Another way that this book successfully bridges the gap between elementary students and neuroscience is by making comparisons to things that young children can relate to: describing a “baby neuron” as a little character who is lonely and trying to reach out to other “neuron friends.” I also think kids will enjoy the way this book speaks directly to them: “Baby neurons in your brain were growing bigger as YOU grew bigger.” It relates what is happening in their developing brain to new things that they are able to do as they grow: “Your brain...helps you walk and talk and dance and think.”
Overall, Neuron Galaxy does a great job of bringing brain science to a child's level, but a few concepts may still be difficult for young children to grasp, like how many stars there are in the Milky Way galaxy. Some terminology, such as dendrites and axons, is more appropriate for older kids, who I believe could also learn something from this book. Neuron Galaxy was an interesting, quick read that even taught me some new things about my brain.